Markets

U.S. Rail Traffic Backslides In October

Just out from the Association of American Railroads, year-over-year rail traffic in October was down 15.3%, which is slightly worse than the year-over-year decline in September. Bottom line: the economy is in no hurry to fully bounce back and confirm the market rebound.
U.S. Rail Traffic Backslides In October
Markets

Why Buffett Finished Off Burlington: It’s the Inventories, Stupid

Well, what the heck: why not use a great line, slightly altered, to make a point? The point being that what Pink Floyd once called “what they fighting’s all about” is not, strictly, the economy. Sure, everybody seems to want to debate whether we’re going to have a V-shaped, U-shaped, […]
Why Buffett Finished Off Burlington: It’s the Inventories, Stupid
Markets

Warren Buffett Liquidates Stakes In UNP, NSC Railroads

As Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway holding company comes closer to finishing the Burlington Northern Santa Fe acquisition, a regulatory filing reveals that Buffett has completely liquidated shares he held in Union Pacific (UNP) and Norfolk Southern (NSC) railroads:
Warren Buffett Liquidates Stakes In UNP, NSC Railroads
Markets

Goldman/Buffett/Fannie Tax Deal Inked a Month Ago

If you were curious about the recent news regarding Goldman Sachs and Warren Buffett’s interest in acquiring the tax losses of Fannie Mae here is the scoop. This deal was agreed to and inked a month ago. It is still pending approval. So the information that was first reported by […]
Goldman/Buffett/Fannie Tax Deal Inked a Month Ago
Markets

Warren Buffett Dumps More Moody’s

While the dominant headlines yesterday centered around Warren Buffett & Berkshire Hathaway’s (BRK.A) acquisition of Burlington Nothern Santa Fe (BNI), we wanted to highlight one of his other recent moves. Having already trimmed his stake in Moody’s (MCO) a few times prior, legendary investor Warren Buffett has sold even more […]
Warren Buffett Dumps More Moody’s
News

Get Real, Buffett’s Big Railroad Bet Was Hardly “Green”

The knee-jerk reaction to anything rail-related is to think “green.” And indeed, yesterday, after Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BNI) announced the acquisition of Burlington Northern (BNI), that rhetoric ran hot. Sure, trains are substitutes for exhaust-emitting, oil-consuming trucks.
Get Real, Buffett’s Big Railroad Bet Was Hardly “Green”
Markets

Gold And Oil Soar While Market Ends Mixed

Today, Buffett bought railroads, and car companies posted sales for October. Shares of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation (BNI) closed at 97.00 up 27.5% after Buffett’s moves. The indexes were up and down, with the NASDAQ closing up 8 points at 2057 and the S&P 500 closing up 2 points […]
Gold And Oil Soar While Market Ends Mixed
Markets

Actually, Railroads’ Biggest Enemies Are The Liberals

As a counterpoint to Joe Weisenthal’s belief that Burlington Northern (BNI) is only a good value to Mr. Buffett based on the prospect of liberal politics delivering stimulus and benefits for railroads, we’d like to highlight the following.
Actually, Railroads’ Biggest Enemies Are The Liberals
Markets

Buffett’s Burlington Northern Buy: Not Such A Bargain?

Shockingly, investors are actually bidding up shares of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) following the news that it’s spending $44 billion to buy Burlington Northern (BNI). We’re not suggesting it’s a bad deal, only that when you’re paying out such a monster counterparty, you’re usually going to get a selloff not this […]
Buffett’s Burlington Northern Buy: Not Such A Bargain?
Markets

Even Buffett Can’t Lift This Ugly Market

The big news of the morning was Warren Buffett’s purchase of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation with his Berkshire Hathaway investment vehicle. Shares of BNSF (BNI) are up over 28% at 97.58, leading the path for other railroad companies like Union Pacific (UNP), up nearly 7% at 58.78 and CSX […]
Even Buffett Can’t Lift This Ugly Market
Markets

Buffett: America’s Best Years Lie Ahead!

Warren Buffett called into CNBC this morning to discuss his monster bet on the railroad industry. The whole transcript is below. As we’ve noted, we think the move is a gigantic bet on future stimulus, but Buffett would prefer to describe it as, simply, a huge bet on the future […]
Buffett: America’s Best Years Lie Ahead!
Markets

Buffett Bets $44 Billion On U.S. Railroad!

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) is making a big rail buy, acquiring Burlington Northern (BNI) for $100 per share or about $44 billion. The deal is the largest in Berkshire’s history.
Buffett Bets $44 Billion On U.S. Railroad!
Markets

Wally Weitz: Berkshire Hathaway Still The Perfect Holding

Weitz Funds manager Wally Weitz (Weitz Value (WVALX), Partners Value (WPVLX), Hickory (WEHIX), and Partners III Opportunity (WPOPX)) answers our questions on media stocks, the health-care debate, Berkshire’s value in this economy, and the right reasons to re-enter the market.
Wally Weitz: Berkshire Hathaway Still The Perfect Holding
Markets

Bloomberg Reports Roubini in Good Company as Investor with Most Wisdom

From Bloomberg: Oct. 29 (Bloomberg) — The Oracle of Omaha retains his pre-eminence as a market visionary, outshining a new wave of financial strategists and the best-known central bankers. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., is reg…
Markets

Bloomberg Reports Roubini in Good Company as Investor with Most Wisdom

From Bloomberg: Oct. 29 (Bloomberg) — The Oracle of Omaha retains his pre-eminence as a market visionary, outshining a new wave of financial strategists and the best-known central bankers. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., is reg…
Markets

Peter Schiff: Warren Buffett Is Out To Lunch

Euro Pacific Capital chief Peter Schiff showed up on Fox Biz to discuss Warren Buffett’s doom-mongering in the NYT today. Schiff tries to thread the needle, saying that Buffett is right that the dollar will collapse, but wrong to think that the bailouts and stimuli we’ve done so far were […]
Peter Schiff: Warren Buffett Is Out To Lunch
Markets

Buffett: We Screwed Up

As cool as his demeanor is, you really have to figure that Warren Buffett had stuck to his strict, no-derivatives-for-me attitude he seemed to hold all that time.
Buffett: We Screwed Up
Markets

Warren “Bailout” Buffett

We’ve been defenders* of Warren Buffett’s ability to navigate the financial crisis, even as critics have fired vollies at him for his company’s sagging stock price, ever-risky derivative bets and mediocre stock picks of late.
Warren “Bailout” Buffett
Markets

Moody’s Tanks After Buffett Cuts Stake

Today will be a painful one for already-suffering Moody’s (MCO) shareholders, as Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) disclosed that it had cut its stake in the ratings agency by some 6 million shares. Buffett now owns about 17% of the company, down from just over 20%.
Moody’s Tanks After Buffett Cuts Stake
Markets

Buffett: Yes, We’re Monetizing The Debt

Tim Geithner says it’s impossible because we have a strong independent Federal Reserve, but Warren Buffett has no reason to be politically correct. And in his interview with CNBC, he told Becky Quick: we are monetizing the debt. We are using printed paper to pay our government.
Buffett: Yes, We’re Monetizing The Debt
Markets

Can’t Afford That Warren Buffett Lunch? Try These

Bummed that you can’t afford what Warren Buffett charity lunch? Have no fear. Here’s a nice-looking pair of Fruit of the Loom boxer-briefs autographed by Warren himself up for auction on eBay. There’s no bids yet, but the minimum is $500, and it doesn’t appear like the money’s going to […]
Can’t Afford That Warren Buffett Lunch? Try These
Markets

Warren Buffett’s Big Bet On Munis

The most interesting part of Warren Buffett’s annual letter to shareholders this year was his discussion on muni bonds, and the meaninglessness of historical default rates. As he noted, past default rates (always quite low) reflected a time when most issuance was un-insured, and thus it really was all on […]
Warren Buffett’s Big Bet On Munis
News

Volkswagen Finds An Electric Partner In BYD

Last week Volkswagen told Autoexpress that it will unveil an electric car “that people could actually buy at a reasonable price” this September. Yesterday it may have revealed part of its plan for getting there.
Volkswagen Finds An Electric Partner In BYD
Markets

Warren Buffett Buys More Wells Fargo

At the recent Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) shareholder meeting, Warren Buffett said that Wells Fargo (WFC) was so healthy, he’d put his entire net worth into the stock if he could.
Warren Buffett Buys More Wells Fargo
Markets

Buffett On Everything

Warren Buffett sat down with CNBC’s Becky Quick this morning.  We’re as sick of the Buffett-palooza as you are by now, but we’ll listen to Warren on anything, and this is a concise way of catching up.
Buffett On Everything
Markets

BofA, Citi Frantic To Raise Capital

Officially, the results from the stress test aren’t due to be released until Thursday, but the two big losers — Bank of America (BAC) and Citigroup (C) are still frantically trying to either raise cash or convince the Fed that they don’t need to.
BofA, Citi Frantic To Raise Capital
News

Warren Buffett’s Chinese Man Crush

Last fall when the world fell apart, Warren Buffett made many famous investments, $3 billion in GE, $5 billion in Goldman.  He also made one sleeper investment, paying $230 million for 10% of Chinese battery maker BYD, now better known for offering a $22,000 electric hybrid in China.
Warren Buffett’s Chinese Man Crush
Markets

Will Warren Buffett Block Goldman From Raising More Cash?

Goldman Sachs (GS) would like to pay back the TARP is early as next month, though to do so it needs to raise fresh outside capital. While credit is still hard to come buy, there’s a good chance that Goldman could pull it off if the wheels don’t come off […]
Will Warren Buffett Block Goldman From Raising More Cash?
Markets

S&P Lowers Berkshire Hathaway’s Outlook

It looks as though Fitch’s lowering of Berkshire Hathaway’s credit rating won’t be a one-off. S&P is doing its standard dance, pre-announcing that it’s likely to lower the company’s rating, as well. It always does this in steps — like it did with GE (GE) — first lowering the outlook […]
S&P Lowers Berkshire Hathaway’s Outlook
Markets

Buffett’s Salary Just $175,000

Credit downgrade aside, Buffett put his peers to shame this year, proving that all his talk about prudence and conservatism wasn’t just bull. And unlike his paid-up peers, he didn’t draw an eyebrow raising salary that would bring a negative spotlight on his firm. Just $175,000.
Buffett’s Salary Just $175,000
Markets

Berkshire Sinks After Surprise Downgrade

Unlike with GE, this downgrade was not anticipated. There were plenty of reasons to think, given Buffett’s conservatism, that perhaps the ratings agencies wouldn’t find reason to worry. Alas, no. On a day when financials are rallying, Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) is slipping, currently down 3%. Not huge, but again, compared […]
Berkshire Sinks After Surprise Downgrade
Markets

Berkshire Hathaway Credit Rating Cut By Fitch To AA

A day after GE got dinged by S&P, Berkshire Hathaway gets taken down a notch by Fitch. And the ratings agency, which doesn’t carry the heft of its peers, says the outlooks is negative, owing to its derivatives book. The agency also notes Warren Buffett’s age (he’s getting on in […]
Berkshire Hathaway Credit Rating Cut By Fitch To AA
Markets

AIG Sought Buffett’s Help Before Collapse

The very first bailout of AIG (AIG) was pitched as a good investment for taxpayers, though by now we know it clearly wasn’t. Turned out, Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) was offered two opportunities to try saving the company — first directly, and then alongside another private investor, Warren Buffett told Bloomberg.
AIG Sought Buffett’s Help Before Collapse
Markets

Here’s A Mark To Market Reform That Might Really Work

At the heart of the mark to market crisis is a complaint that banks have to write down billions of dollars worth of assets to levels they regard as unrealistically low, which hurts banks’ ability to maintain regulatory capital requirements. To meet the requirements after the write-downs, banks then have […]
Here’s A Mark To Market Reform That Might Really Work
Markets

What Happens If Buffett Is Forced To Sell An Operating Unit?

In theory, companies like Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) and GE (GE) have an advantage over other financials in that they could always dump an opearting unit if pressed for cash. GE could sell off its water desalinization business, or maybe GE Medical. Berkshire could sell Clayton Homes or See’s Candies or […]
What Happens If Buffett Is Forced To Sell An Operating Unit?
Markets

Buffett Forced To Cough Up $3 Billion In Dow/Rohm & Hass Deal

Investors are already fretting about Berkshire Hathaway’s pristine financial standing, as the CDS market assigns the company a 13% chance of going totally bust. Meanwhile, Buffett’s latest stock moves — which may pan out over the long term — have gone the wrong way.
Buffett Forced To Cough Up $3 Billion In Dow/Rohm & Hass Deal
Markets

Buffett Bounce For His Bank Holdings

Was the Oracle of Omaha talking his own book on CNBC this morning? Barron’s Andrew Bary (sub. required) points out that Warren Buffett mentioned Wells Fargo and U.S. Bancorp in his marathon love-fest with Becky Quick this morning. He doesn’t suggest Buffett was lying, just noting the positive vibes.
Buffett Bounce For His Bank Holdings
Markets

Wisdom of Warren: Inflation May Be Worse Than 1970s

Becky Quick’s all-day Buffett launched on CNBC this morning and the Oracle of Omaha sent global markets spinning with remarks that inflation was going to get as bad as the 1970s and tossing off the idea that the economy had “fallen off a cliff.”
Wisdom of Warren: Inflation May Be Worse Than 1970s
Markets

13% Chance Buffett Is Going To Zero

We already mentioned that CDS spreads at Berkshire Hathaway are blowing through the roof on fear that it’ll lose its AAA rating, resulting in a host of calamities. So what exactly is the market telling us? Felix Salmon plugs in the numbers:
13% Chance Buffett Is Going To Zero
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